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The Difference between Human Grade Pet Food made in the US and a Pet Food made in a Human Food Facility in Thailand

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  1. KAT

    This is very interesting. I occasionally buy Soulistic wet food for my cats – manufactured in Thailand. They really seem to enjoy it. Not any more. Thank you.

    1. Sharon

      I’ve been feeding Soulistic chicken and pumpkin and Halo wet food to my 2 cats. They both have kidney problems. The Soulistic was low phosphorus. I don’t know what to feed them that is low phosphorus. So depressing and confused

      1. Reader

        I’m assuming you know the base line from your Veterinarian (what you shouldn’t exceed). The 2017 List suggests 11 Cat Foods, very well vetted. I would call the companies and ask then for the food’s relative phosphorus percentage. Other than that you’d have to find the right home made recipe which would accommodate your requirement.

        1. Sharon

          Thank you
          Trying to find a low phosphors recipe too.

  2. …. just a side note, I have 6 cats that ALL love tuna. But I’ve found that they will only eat WHITE tuna (Pacific NW canned in USA) and none of them will go near the RED tuna that comes from Thailand (including BFF tuna, Solid Gold, Evangers, and number of others). A lady at the pet food store told me that red tuna what’s left AFTER processing the tuna canned for human consumption ..i.e. the inedible parts of the tuna. I have no idea if this is true, but I haven’t bought any Thailand tuna for the past 2 years and find it somewhat suggestive that none of my cats will eat it.

    1. Wolf

      “Why does Conventionally Frozen Tuna often appear so bright red in color?”

      Freezing tuna in the conventional manner is NOT COLD ENOUGH to halt microbiological activity. In fact, tuna will continue to turn brown during the conventional freezing process, and the rate at which it turns brown will rapidly increase upon defrosting.

      To counter this, many tuna and beef suppliers use a smoke treatment process that prevents oxidation and brightens the color of the meat. Smoke treatment, which is also called tasteless smoke, carbon monoxide(CO) treatment or gas treatment, causes the tuna – or any red meat – to take and retain a bright watermelon red color, even long past when the product is edible. For consumer protection, Canada, the countries of Europe, Japan, and China have banned this process outright. It is still legal in the US. http://minus76.com/tuna-faq/

  3. T Allen

    So…. Human food manufacturing facilities in Thailand are bringing “residues and waste from the food industries” into a plant that is also then manufacturing food products for humans. Why does the thought of that make my stomach turn?

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      I thought the same thing.

      1. khan baykal

        Sooooo is Weruva BFF no longer safe? Susan I’m at a loss as to what I am supposed to be feeding Gino…

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          I’m by no means saying the product is not safe – I’m saying it is feed grade. Feed grade pet foods absolutely can be safe, but in some cases they are manufactured with a quality of ingredient that would be rejected/refused to be used in a food (human grade food). This is allowed by FDA and each State Department of Agriculture. With human grade pet foods made in the U.S. a consumer has a regulatory system that protects the quality of ingredients, with a feed grade pet food a consumer has no protection to what quality is actually used.

          1. khan baykal

            very grateful for you and this page. thank you Susan.

      2. angela

        Actually Weruva has an update on their FB page, they tested for 3 things 1. heavy metals- negative 2. Marine Toxins-negative and 3.THIAMINE
        We then consulted with both an independent toxicologist and the AVA, who suggested low thiamine might be the cause. At this time, we publicly advised that veterinarians consider treating affected cats for thiamine deficiency and sent different waves of our products to a third-party lab. While all of our other Weruva products tested within normal ranges, test results showed that some of our Australian BFF canned foods contained low levels of thiamine.

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          Thank you for this!

  4. Susanne Link

    Its interesting that when I go to my local pet store, I am asked what I feed my cats and say I make their food. At that time they recommend to me Weruva and I say, no thanks, its made in Thailand and advise they have no oversight like the US. If you research how a manufacturer makes their product, its a no brainer.

  5. Lisa Hoffman

    Is there a canned human grade pet food made in a facility in the US? I am not aware Of one . So we can compare apples to apples

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Not that I am aware of either – to my knowledge there is no human grade canned pet food manufactured in US. There are cooked human grade and dehydrated – but not in a can.

      1. Anonymous

        No human copacker in the US currently has the capability to make pet food for a variety of reasons (there are few large human cannery copackers, of those even less are USDA inspected and even fewer can handle the vits/mins that have to go into pet food to be distributed properly).

      2. LoveCats

        How about Organix? It is supposed to be canned in USA and be organic. Guess I need to call back to make sure it’s human grade organic. There are no fillers or other suspects in the food. I raw feed but she started out eating Organix, Hope it was okay!

        1. Ms. B Dawson

          Castor and Pollux was bought out by Merrick in 2012 and who in turn sold themselves to Purina in 2015.

          A perfect illustration of how difficult it is to keep track of who owns what and where it is manufactured.

    2. I think Pets Global “Fussie Cat” food is considered human grade pet food, but I could be wrong.

      1. Em

        Fussie Cat is indeed made in Thailand. Their website states that the food is made in an FDA kitchen that alsp produces human grade food.

      2. georgie

        my cats ate Fussie Cat wet food for 3 years and had health issues eg. soft stools and persistent eye swelling. problems went away when I changed their diet to home cooked with supplements.

  6. Nicoll

    Australia had an issue with Champion because Australia required foods coming in to their country to be irradiated and that process altered the food and affected the nutrients. Could this be the same reason I wonder?

    1. Em

      Yes I had heard that as well and I have been wondering the same thing.

    2. angela

      Yes they tested the food and found that the THIAMINE levels were low in the cat food and may be the reason for the cats getting ill.

    3. Tryniti

      Interesting. Yes, I feed Weruva products to my cat because as far as pet foods go, they are one of the better canned foods. There are certainly things to keep an eye on, like this, but considering what most people fed their pets, dry cereal garbage that is NOT produced in a human food facility, I am not too worried about it. I doubt that the majority of pet owners have researched where their food comes from, like I have, like many of you have I am assuming, and don’t understand that things like this for a company like this are far less common, and the foods they may be feeding are still at far larger risk than anything from this company. Anyone who feeds Purina, for example, has no leg to stand on in this fight.

  7. Mary Sue

    I read or heard somewhere that people in Thailand prefer to eat dark meat chicken which is why white meat chicken is used in Weruva. So maybe white meat chicken is “residues and waste from the food industries”. It would be interesting to know. Dark meat is much preferred for pets from a nutritional standpoint, which is why I have always hesitated to use Weruva products on a regular basis. Now they have a new variety that includes dark meat.

    1. Cassandra

      I’ve heard this BS as well, but I don’t believe it to be true for a number of reasons. Just because dark meat is preferred doesn’t mean a country with limited resources would just toss aside perfectly good meat to be fed to animals on another continent. The people spouting this nonsense are trying to justify the math behind the unreasonably-low cost of their supposedly “premium” product.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REYUueMZjJA

      This documentary about chicken treats and the state of human food in China really put things in perspective for me.

      1. Tryniti

        Cassandra, Thailand is NOT China. Please make sure you understand the difference. Many foods are produced in Thailand with no ill effect, while it is a known issue for over a decade with China about lead and other poisons in our pet’s food. They are not the same.

  8. Dianne & Pets

    The company who created the process says in their own documents, readily available, that irradiated foods are a problem for cats. I don’t remember if they said fatal or potentially fatal. Maybe someone changed the rules not knowing about the issue.

  9. Teresa Reid

    Does anyone here know about ZiwiPeak canned cat food? I have been feeding my cats this along with TikiCat (that I discontinued because of their recent addition of an additive) and all of a sudden, my girls don’t want to eat the ZiwiPeak anymore. Have tried all kinds of things but they just are all on strike and it makes me wonder what is wrong with it. I just ordered some Soulistic for them to mix in with the ZiwiPeak, but after reading the above, I guess I will be taking it back to the store too. As a person with a disabiity that prevents me from standing to even make myself a meal, I am at a loss about what to safely feed my girls that would be within my physical limitations to make. If anyone has any suggestions, etc., would really appreciate it.

    1. Em

      ZiwiPeak did recently change their formulas, if the label changes typically they’ve changed something else as well i.e. Tiki Cats recent label update and thr addition of synthetic vitamin K.

      1. Teresa

        Thank you Reverend Jane Eagle and Em. I do have some Honest Kitchen but my two Ragdolls won’t touch it, but my Maine Coon loves it. Just got a food that is new to me called Koha and have read the label and talked to the company and so far am satisfied. If anyone knows anything that is questionable about this, I would welcome the knowledge.
        Just yesterday, a case of Lotus cat food was delivered and right off I noticed that one of the cans is swelled and buldging. I am not sure exactly what to do with it since it came from Amazon. Do I call the company and Amazon? The rest of the food cans seem to be fine. All this stuff has made me really vigilant about their food. Seems that we can’t even trust the integrity of any food no matter who it comes from.

  10. Sharon Bilotta-Testa

    I am soooo sick and tired of reading what’s really good pet food and then buying this expensive really good pet food and I do research read what’s in it read the comments avoid the gums the carrageenan (I have 7 plus 3 feral cats)and then find out that this Weruva&BFF aren’t what they claim to be! so whats left for us to buy!!! NOTHING!! Guess I’ll just stick to raw and make my own no more canned crap such a waste of my hard earned money which was $300 a month just on this cat food

    1. Trouble

      I feel your pain… I really do. I’ve literally broken down into tears because of this endless battle to find a food that I am confident is safe and healthy and comfortable enough with what I learn about the food/the brand/the company, etc. to feed it to my dog while also making sure it’s a food that she’ll actually want to eat. I was feeding my dog the brand Orijen, but I noticed (and so did she, of course…..) that their food formulas produced at their U.S. facility are different from the formulas produced in their Alberta facility. Maybe it’s simply a matter of them changing their formulas at the same time that they started having the U.S. food manufactured here in the U.S (in Kentucky, I believe is where the facility is located…) but my dog and I both immediately noticed a difference. She noticed a difference in either smell or taste, because she wasn’t as big of a fan of it, and I noticed the difference in the ingredients, the guaranteed analysis and the look of the kibble (it’s much, much smaller than it used to be)… soooo now… she is spoiled rotten. I finally broke down and am now feeding her The Honest Kitchen. I mix that with some raw meat, and it works out okay for her.

      The Honest Kitchen seems a bit pricey at first, because you’re obviously taking home a much smaller box/container of food than you would if you were buying any other type of dog and/or cat food (kibble, wet, raw, etc) but each box makes far more food than what is in the box, since you add water to it. 🙂 I’d recommend trying that brand for your cats, see how they like it. If you go to The Honest Kitchen website you should be able to get samples for your cats to try. That’s what I did before buying any in a store, to make sure my dog would like it. I also got some for the two cats I lived with at the time, and they absolutely loved it. The one male cat was even wanting to go for the dog’s bowl of it after he was finished with his own, lol.

  11. Pacific Sun

    I’m not a cat owner, but appreciate the challenges involved with feeding cats. I don’t understand why we don’t focus more on an appropriate cat vitamin/mineral supplement, to make it easier for owners to feed human grade protein (for example) chicken or tuna, and still be assured their cats are receiving balanced nutrition. What would be the recommendation?

    I notice even some “human grade” tuna is manufactured overseas. But this will certainly no longer be my choice.

    1. Em

      I personally do not feed my cats any tuna or salmon due to heavy metal toxicity, possible thiamine deficiency, the addictive taste and smell, etc but yes you make a good point. There are a few good supplements intended to be mixed into raw meat for cats like Alnutrin and some others (I’m drawing a blank) but sadly it will never be the norm because commercial pet food doesn’t benefit from owners making their own foods.

  12. Ms. B Dawson

    Susan,

    Your comments on Weruva’s website is another of my complaints about pet food companies in general. They aren’t lying, but they aren’t telling the whole truth either. The wording that companies use is designed to cause consumers to reach the wrong conclusion. The company offers up marketing-speak that consumers extrapolate to an inaccurate conclusion, which of course isn’t the company’s fault, right?

    You have in the past brought deceptive imagery to our attention, but now consumers can see how pervasive the problem is. It isn’t just Purina or Fancy Feast using these tactics. Every company no matter how expensive the product manipulates words and images to attract buyers as they struggle to distinguish their product on crowded shelves.

    The solution, since regulations are a long shot, is for consumers to engage their commonsense and understand what they are reading. Weruva says “many”. No one should assume that is an indication of quality ingredients across the board. How many is “many”? 40%, 50%? The dictionary definition of “many” is “a large indefinite number”.

    Another point of commonsense – one I told the Weruva rep when I refused to pick up their product so many years ago – if FDA & USDA can’t properly oversee US facilities (for human OR pet food) why would I believe that a USDA facility in a foreign country wouldn’t be more problematic?

    Companies are in Thailand because it reduces manufacturing costs and because of the loop holes in regulatory definitions that you pointed out.

  13. Reader

    No pet food is EVER going to be absolutely perfect. But Susan’s been researching the subject for 10 years. And provides a list of well vetted brands. I’d probably pay attention, and stop asking what should I feed now.

    Whenever we read more disturbing information about PF manufacturing, people always ask the same question. Cats are fussy about taste and texture. I get it. But if your family liked McDonald’s, would that be their only diet?

    Susan has spent an incredible amount of time (now in its 3rd year) compiling the 2017 List. Originally, the List didn’t cover cat food. But it does now. 11 brands. Including raw, fresh, a kibble and a canned. These are the foods Susan could feed as a backup, if she weren’t already home cooking. In fact I see a new canine kibble on there, I’ll be trying as a backup too.

    1. Reverend Jane Eagle

      YES! The list is terrific, and has helped me find safe cat foods that my cat will eat!

  14. Trouble

    Quick question…

    Since different countries have different laws about these things… Does that mean a food that’s manufactured and such in another country…if it follows all of that country’s laws and such for making a ‘human grade’ food… can they then make the ‘Human Grade’ claim on their product, even for what gets shipped here to the U.S. (even though it wouldn’t pass our ‘human grade’ requirements… it passes them in the country it’s made in… so technically by their laws, the food is ‘human grade’… ) I’m just wanting to know if these foods that are ‘human grade’ in other countries…would they also be ‘human grade’ in the U.S, if they’re not manufactured in the U.S.? That would be…..very, very, very deceptive… but not at all surprising… I mean, what part of the pet industry and it’s ties to the government (FDA and such) isn’t deceptive?

    Someday…..I have to keep telling myself that someday….us – pet owners – and our pets…will win this fight. We have to. Maybe not in my lifetime (and I’m only 29 heh)… but, someday. I have to hold onto the belief that… this can’t carry on forever. At some point…something will break. The only thing that kills me about it is… I think at the point that something breaks… it will be us, and our pets.. who feel that breakage the worst, and will suffer the most from it.

  15. Jessie Frederiksen

    So much for Weruva and I really had high hopes for that cat food my cats really liked it too. I beginning see home cooked meal will be the way to go. It’s becoming rather tiresome to hear yet another cat food company being dishonest. How embarrassing and humiliating it must be to know that your pet food caused the a customers pet to become sick or die as a result of consuming their products. These are people without consciences or souls. Theres a special place in hell for people like this, they will get their come-upping.

  16. Lisa

    Have you checked out a can of Weruva lately? Their higher end product actually looks and smells like what it is suppose to be. No other company has this.

    1. Daen

      So what is that saying about their “lower end” product?

  17. georgie

    for almost 3 years, two of my cats were eating Fussie Cat wet food, which is made in Thailand, supposedly human grade. they always had soft stools, but I attributed it to “sensitive stomach” and just fed daily probiotics. last May, one of them started having persistent swollen eye, which my vets thought was either herpes or environmental allergy. none of the vets advised me to stop feeding the Fussie Cat, so my cat continued eating it every day. his eye problem persisted for months.

    this January, both of my cats had diarrhea and I had to change their food to bland diet of poached chicken. when I changed their food, not only did the diarrhea go away but my cat’s eye issue did as well. now my cats are eating home cooked food with all the vitamins added, and their stools perfect. their health and physical appearance is also much improved. from this experience I will never feed cat food made in Thailand again. as long as I have the time, I will continue to cook for my cats. they prefer it too.

    to be honest if you visit Thailand eg. Bangkok, the streets are actually not the cleanest around. you wonder about cleanliness of their factories…

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